Researchers at Dartmouth Medical School have found that middle-school children who are forbidden to watch R-rated movies are less likely to start drinking than kids with less restrictive parents.
The study, published in the Journal on Studies of Alcohol and Drugs, used data from 2,400 middle-school students. It found that nearly a quarter of students who were allowed to watch R-rated movies "all the time" started drinking early - compared to just 3 percent for kids whose parents never allowed them to watch R-rated movies, and 19 percent who were sometime allowed to watch R-rated movies.
Depictions of alcohol consumption appear in about 90 percent of R-rated movies, said Dr. James D. Sargent, a pediatrics professor at Dartmouth Medical School and an author of the study. [That] may be one reason why children who see such movies are more likely to start drinking at a young age. But he noted that previous studies have suggested that children who watch R-rated movies become more prone to "sensation seeking" and "risk taking."
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